LIAM Livingstone and Rajasthan Royals will kick off their 2021 IPL season against Anil Kumble’s Punjab Kings.

The Barrovian was picked up by The Royals for £75,000 in last month’s auction, after featuring for the side in 2019.

Livingstone will now team up with England teammates Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler and fellow Cumbrian Ben Stokes in northern India.

It was an auction to remember for The Royals as they broke the spending record to bring in South African all-rounder Chris Morris for £1.6m.

Livingstone, who was a runner up in last season’s BBL, will face his Perth Scorchers teammate Jhye Richardson in the opening game on 12 April.

Bowler Richardson was brought by Kings for £1.4m during the IPL auction.

However, Jason Roy, who often opened the batting with Livingstone for the Scorchers last season, was left gutted after being snubbed during the auction.

Roy later tweeted that it was a “massive shame” not to be selected for the upcoming season.

There will be a new captain for The Royals this year as Steve Smith exited for Delhi Capitals.

Sanju Samson has been named as the Australian’s replacement and will be hoping to lead the side to a much better position in this year’s campaign.

Rajasthan finished bottom of the IPL table last season, winning only six out of 14 games.

The 2021 IPL season will be Livingstone’s first in two years after opting out of the 2020 auction to focus on county cricket instead.

The batsman will be entering the IPL campaign following an impressive season in BBL 10.

In 14 innings, Livingstone hit 426 runs, recording a 133.96 strike rate and an average of 30.43.

He left Australia with five wickets from six overs too.

One of his best performances came in the BBL semi-final where he hit 77 runs off 39 deliveries to secure his side’s final place.

Whilst playing in India, the 27-year-old will be unavailable for selection by Lancashire.

This year’s IPL will see no home matches played for the first time in its 14-year history, with all games being played at six neutral venues.

Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata have been selected to host the games.

The Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad will host the play-offs and final.

Currently, it is understood that games will be played behind closed doors, but fans could be allowed in during a later stage of the competition.

The first six games of Rajasthan Royals’ 2021 IPL season:

April 12: Rajasthan Royals vs Punjab Kings – Mumbai

April 15: Rajasthan Royals vs Delhi Capitals – Mumbai

April 19: Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals – Mumbai

April 22: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals – Mumbai

April 24: Rajasthan Royals vs Kolkata Knight Riders – Mumbai

April 29: Mumbai Indians vs Rajasthan Royals – Delhi.